TXSmartSchools uses academic, financial, and demographic data to identify school districts and campuses that produce high academic achievement while also maintaining cost-effective operations.
We hope that school districts and education policymakers will use this information to identify Texas schools worth emulating—those facing similar challenges and spending similar dollars but that are able to achieve great things.
The heart of the TXSmartSchools website is the Apples2Apples data exploration tool that enables you to interact with Texas public school and district data.
Just pick any Texas school or district — or several schools and districts — and Apples2Apples will retrieve the data and suggest fiscal peers for comparison.
Welcome to TXSmartSchools.tamu.edu, a resource for Texans interested in school effectiveness and efficiency
TEA Report Uses TSS Salary Index
A recent report on geographic education cost variations published by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) relies on the Texas Smart Schools salary index for high school graduates for some of its calculations. The report was written by Texas A&M economists led by Dr. Lori Taylor, Principal Investigator for the Texas Smart Schools Initiative.
The 2020 Smart Scores are here!
We have released another year of Texas school and district data. Use our Apples2Apples search tool to see how your selected districts and campuses compare to similarly situated peers on academic effectiveness and spending efficiency. Or, customize your searches to see the groups you want.
The 2019 Smart Scores are here!
Find out which Texas schools and districts stand out as both high performing and low spending. Use our Apples2Apples search tool to see how your selected districts and campuses compare to similarly situated peers. Or, customize your searches to see the groups you want.
Does Current State and Local Funding Provide For A Quality Education?—Dr. Lori Taylor participated in two panel discussions on that subject sponsored by the Dallas League of Women Voters. Click to see videos of the presentations.
Mistaken Identity? Can Demographics Explain the Houston 10—Ten Houston ISD schools face serious consequences if they can’t turn around a trend of poor performance. The most recent Smart Steps article, “Mistaken Identity? Can Demographics Explain the Houston 10,” uses TSS data to show how most of these campuses truly are among the lowest-performing in Texas, but two elementary schools have been unfairly singled out thanks to demographic factors outside of their control.
The 2018 Smart Scores are here!
You can explore the data using our enhanced Apples2Apples comparison tool. See how districts and campuses compare to their similarly situated peers. Or, customize your searches to see the groups you want.
Texas Smart Schools Included in School Finance Briefing—Dr. Lori Taylor, Principal Investigator for the Texas Smart Schools Initiative, was invited to provide testimony to the Texas Commission on Public School Finance at their February 8, 2018, meeting. You can see her presentation on school finance incentives by going to http://www.adminmonitor.com/tx/tea/public_school_finance/201802081/2/ and clicking on Agenda Video Clips, Item 5A.
Texas Smart Schools to Present at National Education Conference—The Texas Smart Schools Initiative has been recognized for its work on school fiscal responsibility with an invitation to Dr. Lori Taylor, Principal Investigator for the project, to present at the 2017 National Summit on Education Reform in Nashville, TN.
How well do we understand the effectiveness of educational technology? A new Smart Steps article, “From Overhead Projectors to Smart Boards: We Need to Better Understand the Growth of Technology in Texas Schools,” addresses that issue.
Many school districts are using shared service arrangements to save millions for taxpayers, but the financial reporting on these agreements lacks accuracy and transparency. See the Smart Steps article on “What’s Not to Love about Shared Service Arrangements?” to learn more.
Donald Trump’s education plan proposes to redirect $20 billion in federal education spending towards school choice, which raises the obvious question: how are existing choice programs doing? According to our data, many charter schools in Texas are doing remarkably well.